Spend a whirlwind day discovering Turkish history and culture during this private full-day tour to Nicea and Bursa from Istanbul. Ride the ferry to the town of Yalova and take a short drive to Nicea to see the remains of the Haghia Sophia of Nicea and the Green Mosque. Then head to charming Bursa to shop at the Covered Bazaar and Old Silk Market and explore the Grand Mosque. Throughout the day, learn about the area’s rich history and the Ottoman Empire from your private guide. Drive back to the Istanbul at the end of the tour.
Begin the tour with a morning departure from your Istanbul hotel. Ride the ferry to the nearby town of Yalova, then hop in a car for a 45 minute drive to İznik (Nicea), passing through beautiful countryside as you go. In İznik, see the ruins of the Haghia Sophia of Nicea and the City Walls, as well as the Green Mosque. The city has a rich history: it was conquered and incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century and later became a major center for local faïence pottery (known as the İznik Çini, Çin meaning China – Chinese porcelain stood in great favor with the Sultans.) İznik tiles were used to decorate many of the mosques in Istanbul designed by Sinan.After İznik, head to the town of Bursa in the northwestern slopes of Mount Uludağ, in the southern Marmara Region. Bursa is frequently cited as "Green Bursa", thanks to the many parks and gardens located throughout the city, as well as the vast forests that surround it. The first major capital city in the early years of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa kept its importance as a commercial center, especially as the source of most royal silk products during the Ottoman period. Traditionally a pole of attraction, Bursa was a major center for refugees from various ethnic backgrounds and holds an immaculate heritage of Ottoman civil architecture. Spend time here exploring the Green Mosque, the Green Tomb, and the Grand Mosque; and shop for treasures at the Covered Bazaar and the Old Silk Market. Taste the world famous “Iskender Kebap” before returning to Istanbul at the end of the day.